Remarkable account in Louis Bouyer’s Memoirs

“The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer” had been recommended to me, and I was glad when I saw it on the new items shelf at the Daniel Mannix Library.

I have been flicking through it. There are lots of really good bits relating to ecumenism and Vatican II, and also the liturgical reforms after the Council. Bouyer was one of those appointed to the liturgical committees charged with enacting the Constitution on the Liturgy after the Council (in particular the Eucharistic Prayers), and his candid comments are revealing.

This one is best:

On several occasions…Bugnini ran into an opposition that was not only massive but also, one might say, close to unanimous. In such cases, he didn’t hesitate to say: “But the Pope wills it!” After that, of course, there was no question of discussing the matter any further…

“[Later when] Paul VI himself…was discussing our famous work with me, work which he had finally ratified without being much more satisfied with it than I was, he said to me: “Now why did you do [x] in the reform?” At this point, I must confess that I no longer recall specifically which of the details I have already mentioned was bothering him. Naturally, I answered: “Why, simply because Bugnini had assured us that you absolutely wished it.” His reaction was instantaneous: “Can this be? He told me himself that you were unanimous on this!”


About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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